Would you like to share a teaching idea or success story you’ve had recently? Please tell us all about it, and it may show up in an upcoming newsletter or in a blog post for PlanningPlaytime.com. We aren’t looking for resources, but stories of an experience or idea that touched you or reached your students in a special way. Did you have a lesson plan that hit home or an unforgettable experience?
Here’s a story about a great teacher in my life:
Last December something very special happened in my daughter’s first grade classroom. An elf came each day and left little trinkets for the boys and girls who had been good and helpful that day. Sometimes they got a pencil, an eraser or a sticker. Sometimes it was a small piece of candy. Whatever the surprise, the children were so excited to get to school each day and earn their prize.
One day my daughter came home and told me their elf had brought special gifts that day for just a few of the children. She didn’t seem bitter or upset that she wasn’t one of the children to receive a special gift. Curious, I asked her what the special gifts were. “Winter hats and pairs of warm gloves,” was her reply.
Then I understood. The special gifts were only for the children who didn’t have any of their own and needed them desperately.
The gifting elf, of course, was a teacher whose budget was probably already stretched way too thin over the holiday season. It was not her duty. She received no credit, but she changed my Christmas.
What better way is there to teach a child to care than to care yourself? What better way is there to teach a child to give than to show them? What better way is there to teach a child to share than by example?
The gift she gave that year went far beyond a few hats and pairs of gloves. It touched my life, and though her students may be too young to identify their Christmas elf now, someday they will understand. They will be touched, and some of them at least, will be inspired to do a little bit of “elfing” of their own.